Extending over a half a million hectares, the Pilliga Forests is the largest consolidated block of forest and woodlands in western New South Wales. It is home to an array of native flora and fauna, including what used to be the largest population of Koalas to the West of the Great Dividing Range in the 1990’s. Today, after an 80% decline in population due to severe and prolonged droughts, these Koalas were thought to be ‘functionally extinct’ until pockets of surviving communities had been found in August, 2020.

This unique and ancient landscape sits on top of, and feeds fresh water into the Great Artesian Basin, the only source of fresh water for much of inland Australia. It is here that mining company Santos has been given approval by the NSW State Government for their 850-well coal seam gas field project to go ahead.

Paddy Pallin has a long history of standing up for mother nature, and we won’t be stopping now. We are stepping up alongside For Wild Places and The Wilderness Society to help protect the Pilliga in their inaugural Pilliga Ultra, a fundraising marathon to protect our wild places.

The Pilliga Forest is a biodiversity hotspot like nowhere else in the world. This unique and ancient landscape feeds clean water into the Great Artesian Basin- the crucial water source for much of inland Australia including farmers for their livestock and crops, particularly in droughts.

It has long been known as being a native wildlife refuge in the half a million hectares of rare intact temperate eucalypt woodland that is now under threat of an 850-well coal seam gas (CSG) field being developed in the area after the NSW government has given approval for the project to move forward.

At 95 thousand hectares, the Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project is 38 times the size of the City of Sydney. It is the largest gas project, by land size, ever proposed in NSW. The vast majority of landowners in the 3.7 million hectares surrounding the Pilliga are in opposition of the project which has the potential to severely disrupt or contaminate the Great Artesian Basin, as well as destroy native habitats, cause damage to local waterways and risk the health of local communities.



For Wild Places have joined forces with The Wilderness Society, Protect the Pilliga Forest campaign to bring us The Pilliga Ultra, an epic 5km, 20km or 50km fundraising trail run over the rocky outcrops and through the rare eucalyptus woodland of the Pilliga. The Pilliga Ultra was held on the 26th of March 2022. 

For Wild Places is a group of passionate trail runners that have formed to give a voice to our wild places by facilitating trail events and workshops in our most vulnerable regions around Australia, to help raise funds for the protection and conservation of these ancient and beautiful landscapes.

'Trail runners are natural allies of the environment. The love for our sport literally depends on the health and wellbeing of our wild and natural places. Creating a series of races where runners directly contribute to the protection and conservation of the Pilliga Forest simply by participating just made sense to us.' - Simon Harris, For Wild Places.

To learn more about the Pilliga and the fight to save this stunning region head over to the Wilderness Society's website



The risky Narrabri Gas Project has the potential to destroy native animal habitats, damage waterways, pollute air quality, endanger the health of local workers and nearby residents, as well as risk significant pollution to the groundwater that leads to the only source of freshwater for much of our in-land population, including our farmers who rely on this water for their crops and cattle, especially during droughts.

Learn more about the Pilliga and the fight to save this stunning region.

Pilliga Ultra Wrap Up


The inaugural Pilliga Ultra has come and gone with runners, crew members, event organisers, volunteers, sponsors, and the local Pilliga community all coming together to protect the Pilliga. With 150 runners assembled and current fundraising at $80,000, the campaign to protect the Pillaga is continuing to gain momentum. To learn more about the Pilliga Ultra and the fight to protect this unique landscape check out our blog here.


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